The group, which also owns fashion brands Dior and Celine, said comparable sales at its fashion and leather division rose 9% in the three months to March 31, beating analysts’ expectations of a 5-7% rise.

The division is the biggest and most closely watched as Louis Vuitton accounts for more than half of group operating profits. The unit saw like-for-like sales growth improve in the fourth quarter to 7% from 3% in the preceding three months.

But several analysts had expected momentum to drop somewhat in the early part of the year, partly due to enduring tough trading in China, slower growth in the United States and a drop in spending by Russian tourists.

Overall, LVMH’s first-quarter revenues rose 6%, reaching 7.2 billion euros, slightly above expectations of 7.17 billion euros.

“The performance of the fashion and leather is much better than expected but that of the wines and spirits is also worse than expected,” said luxury goods analyst at Barclays.

LVMH did not provide any financial forecasts for the current year.

Source: Reuters